Antonio Tajani: there could be as many as 30 million migrants heading to Europe in the coming years
In an interview with Die Welt, the European Parliament president addressed the migrant crisis, taking a closer look at Mediterranean route from North Africa to Southern Italy. Politician admitted that terror groups like Islamic State have used the migrant crisis as a cover to sneakily embed their fighters into Europe to commit terror attacks and noted that immigration, terrorism, and economy were top on his agenda for today.
Tajani described Africa’s current ‘dramatic position’: reduction of its agricultural land, absolute poverty all over the place and terrorist groups' activization, tying continent’s sustainability and safety with European migration issue. “If we do not manage to solve the central problems in African countries, 10, 20, or even 30 million immigrants will come to the European Union in ten years,” he added.
In order to solve the crisis, Tajani called for EU member states’ collective and massive investment into African countries’ economies. He also noted the Chinese presence in Africa but doubted that China is really interested in continent’s stability. Tajani’s solution is similar to statements, made by Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz. The EU leader proposes creating ‘refugee cities’: “I imagine provisional cities with hospitals and facilities for children, where people can live temporarily. We must prevent the migrants from getting caught in the traffickers’ traps and dying while travelling through the desert or across the Mediterranean,” he said.
He also urged Europeans not to stay at home because of terrorism and added: “We will, therefore, have to get used to increased police checks. I would be happy to be more controlled by the police.” Tajani also touched upon another hot topic, Europe’s Islamisation, stressing the fact that Europe is specifically Christian. “Whoever has a strong identity does not need to be afraid of others. We must defend our identity,” he said. “If we do not defend our values, the newcomers will make their rules. The U.S. shows how to do it. There is a flag in front of many houses.”
Eurostat data claims that on 1 January 2015 there were around 34 million people living in one of 28 EU countries, born outside the bloc, slightly less than 20 million of them still are citizens of non-member countries. About 250 000 migrants and refugees got into Europe last year. Presumably, there are over 2 million migrants, living in the EU’s ‘engine’, Germany, whose migration policy is a subject of constant and hot debates between party candidates of the upcoming Parliamentary election.